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The Benefits of Having Music in Your Life

The Benefits of Having Music in Your Life

Music is inescapable in our lives. Commercials feature jingles, radio carries hours of it daily, and even the process of creating music stars is now its own television genre. But so much music is heard passively (or worse yet commercially), and so the listener doesn’t always derive the many benefits of music.

Yet listening to music can do amazing things for our minds and bodies, things that can’t be done any other way. Taking it a step further and playing an instrument ourselves helps us dig even deeper into the beneficial aspects of music.

Improving Thought Processes

There is significant scientific evidence that people who play music improve their cognitive abilities. Many of our world’s greatest minds have used music as a tool to stimulate their thinking on unrelated projects of science, economics, or medicine. Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is an accomplished classical pianist. Alexander Graham Bell played piano, possibly for Watson. And Charles Dickens squeezed an accordion during his writing career.

While the performance of these instruments never was their work, it helped their thinking in a way that clearly made them more successful.There is some connection between counting tempos and notes that helps fertilize the part of the more scientific parts of the brain, so two seemingly different fields actually intersect very squarely.

This is where proper instruction comes into the equation. helps people find quality instructors who will give them proper techniques for learning their instruments, thus maximizing the non-musical benefits of their playing. Poor instruction makes the process frustrating and ineffective, garnering no benefits for the learner.

Expressing Emotions

We all know the relationship between music and our mood. Sometimes we choose to listen to music that matches our mood, such as the heartbroken music written by others experiencing the loneliness of solitude on Saturday night. Other times we try to use music to create our mood, like the high-energy selections we play for workout time.

It’s clear that there is real science to back up the belief that our moods can be altered by music. Even among animals--who of course don’t understand the lyrics--biometrics show that mental status is affected by the music being heard.

A heartfelt musical performance is even more impactful, whether that heart is feeling joy, sorrow, or even anger and confusion. There is a common emotional thread behind forlorn country tunes, angry heavy metal, and hostile rap. And who doesn’t need an occasional break from an overwhelming workload?

Better Health

These first two benefits work together to create our final benefit, that of improved health. Being successful is good for your health, but being a failure is very bad for your health. When your business or other enterprise is thriving thanks to your creativity and intelligence, you have overall better health. Blood pressure is lower, cardiovascular health improves, and you have more energy.

Music is safer than substance abuse, cheaper than therapy, and more practical than skydiving. It is readily available almost anywhere you go, and it’s a placating drug that you can dose yourself with anytime in any quantity--and then immediately resume other activities. The ability to release stress, anger, and pain, and to celebrate joy and fulfillment, makes music the most versatile treatment in the world.

Not everyone will play Carnegie Hall or even busk on a street corner. But just conquering an instrument well enough to struggle through a few simple songs is good for your health and your brain. The creativity you develop, the stress you relieve, and the productivity you generate will make the invested time well worth your while.

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